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Colleen Conway's blog

Need to build endurance

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After my first swim meet this weekend and a week off, getting back into the pool today I feel like poop, and at square one. Based on my time results, I realize I have a LOT of endurance work to do. The first 50 of my 100 fly at the meet was 28 and lets just say I diedÖ. Badly haha.
Days of highschool and five hour practices are long behind me, I no longer have the ability to just go train for hours with having a 15 month old, so I will have to train smart to build endurance, and I never really had time restrictions on my training in the past. How am I planning on improving this?
1. Change my warmup from a 500 free/pull to a 1,000.
2. Instead of doing sets of 50s swim fly in practice, I will consider using my monofin and doing days with sets of 100s. Iím a bit wary of using fins because for some reason it feels like it actually makes my kick weaker. So maybe I can try just swimming it straight but I think my stroke would break down too much.
3. I need to add time in the gym and do some running. My goal is to run 15-20mins each day before getting in the pool. Today I did 15 mins and it didnít feel bad at all.
4. Start doing pushups and situps.
5. I did find another local gym with a pool so I could train at night time for a second practice or do cardio,weights, hopefully this will make a big improvement.
If anyone has any ideas about how to build endurance when it comes to fly or in general, feel free to share J

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  1. The Fortress's Avatar
    My quick thoughts (as a flyer):

    1. 1000 free + pull for warm up?! Ugh. Add some shooters and other drill work.
    2. Monofins and fins make your legs stronger and kick better. I specialize in underwater dolphin kicking, and I kid you not. Use them. But don't kick slowly with them; only kick fast or AFAP.
    3. Running is no good for swimming (I'm an ex runner). It adds no endurance swimming wise and it makes your legs fatigued for the work they should be doing in the pool.
    4. Core work is especially good. Strength helps too.
    5. I would do swim + gym instead of 2 swims. Unless one swim is technique based.

    I started a thread on the forum long ago about improving my 100 fly after some epic fails on the last 25. I recall people recommended some good sets: http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...aining+100+fly. I can't train a lot of fly w/o killing my shoulders. Besides, repeat 100s are OK once in awhile, but should not be the mainstay of your fly sets -- too fatiguing and you could lose proper form. Fast 50s with rest, broken 100s, fast 25s dolphin kick and "rehearsal swims" where you swim a 100 fly AFAP for time with a meet warm up well rested.

    Anyway, just my two cents. YMMV
  2. qbrain's Avatar
    If you want to do 1000 worth of warm up, and you are looking at competing in 50 and 100s, consider the Salo warm up. 400 free, 4x100 descend to fast, 4x50s fast. All on generous intervals. I do 200 backs between each sub set, so my warm up is 1600 before I start the main set, but even if you call it a day after that warm up, you have still accomplished something and your times for the 50s will indicate if you are over training or not.

    I’m a bit wary of using fins because for some reason it feels like it actually makes my kick weaker.
    Absolutely. If you put on fins are still going the same speed you were without fins, you are counter training both your kick and pull. Using fins as a crutch to make a set easier instead of harder might be a carry over from age group days. As a guess, I would say you need to be 10% faster with fins than without on the same set, otherwise you aren't working hard enough. 10% at a minimum.

    I have some dryland comments but I gotta run. BBL
  3. qbrain's Avatar
    Running is great for weight loss, and there are plenty of fat forumites swimming fast, so running doesn't really help swimming. The aerobic benefits of running do not translate to swimming.

    Crunches, planks, side planks, bird dogs, bridges and anything else you can think of that works core stability will be useful, as will focusing on sucking it in while swimming. Rigidity through the torso decreases drag.

    You can skip the push ups unless you enjoy them.

    Body weight squats, weighted squats, squat jumps, standing long jumps and the like will translate to swimming really well.
  4. knelson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    If you want to do 1000 worth of warm up, and you are looking at competing in 50 and 100s, consider the Salo warm up. 400 free, 4x100 descend to fast, 4x50s fast.
    I think this is a good warmup. You want to work into it gradually, but you need to get your heart rate up by the end of warmup. My team always starts with a 500 swim. This should be easy with an emphasis on DPS and good turns. Then we do 10 or 15 X 50 on :45. These are descended in groups of five. The "fast" ones shouldn't be all-out, but at a good clip. I'm usually ready to go on the main set after this warmup and we get right into it.
  5. aztimm's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    so running doesn't really help swimming. The aerobic benefits of running do not translate to swimming.
    I would definitely beg to differ. With running--and dropping about 20 pounds--my swimming got much faster, my 1500m time dropped by about 3 minutes.

    And aerobic benefits are just that, they don't pick and chose which activities they'll help or not. When I was running doing marathon training I felt a huge difference in my swimming aerobic capacity.

    Any aerobic benefits achieved from other means, be it running, cycling, playing soccer, or whatever, will help your swimming. What may not help is the use of some of the same muscles (overuse even). And certainly not using some upper body muscles from other activities won't help your swimming.

    Then again, much of this is very individualistic.
  6. Colleen Marais's Avatar
    Thanks for all of the different ideas guys! Yeah I think running will be good for getting myself in general shape, weight loss etc, but I wouldnt take it overboard or mess with my knees. Another problem I have is that my best events were mixed distances, and I usually trained in the distance lane, or basically all of the lanes were distance (we did 10,000s for time lol). Growing up my events were the 100 fly (1.00), 200 breast (2.30), 200 fly (2.11) and 500 free (5.11), my 400 IM was a (4.45) but I feel like I was always suppoesed to have been a sprinter or 200's max, but with the coach I had, he always pushed us to train and do distance events. My goal though is to concentrate on the 50 fly and 100 fly. I really do think with events like the 100 fly I could go much faster than I did back then and I can choose to just train for shorter events, but yeah my endurance is lacking even for a 100.
    Updated October 23rd, 2012 at 01:48 PM by Colleen Marais
  7. qbrain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by aztimm
    And aerobic benefits are just that, they don't pick and chose which activities they'll help or not.
    There are two factors that limit aerobic capacity:

    1. The ability of the cardiovascular system to deliver oxygen to the muscles. Increase in tidal volume, stroke volume and red blood cell count are not sport specific.

    2. The muscle's ability to use oxygen. Increased mitochondria and enzyme availability is cell specific. If you don't stress the cell, it does not have any reason to adapt. This is sport specific.
  8. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen Marais
    Thanks for all of the different ideas guys! Yeah I think running will be good for getting myself in general shape, weight loss etc, but I wouldnt take it overboard or mess with my knees. Another problem I have is that my best events were mixed distances, and I usually trained in the distance lane, or basically all of the lanes were distance (we did 10,000s for time lol). Growing up my events were the 100 fly (1.00), 200 breast (2.30), 200 fly (2.11) and 500 free (5.11), my 400 IM was a (4.45) but I feel like I was always suppoesed to have been a sprinter or 200's max, but with the coach I had, he always pushed us to train and do distance events. My goal though is to concentrate on the 50 fly and 100 fly. I really do think with events like the 100 fly I could go much faster than I did back then and I can choose to just train for shorter events, but yeah my endurance is lacking even for a 100.
    You can most definitely go faster!

    I grew up in the days of mega yardage and I always felt the workouts suppressed my sprint potential. So I have re-invented myself as a sprinter in masters. So fun! You might consider consulting the High Intensity forum for workouts ideas. Too much distancey stuff does kill speed.

    My experience: running keeps/makes you skinny. Swimming puts on weight and gives you huge shoulders. The only downside.

    Your sprint endurance will likely improve just by continuing to be back in the water.

    QBrain is scary smart, so you should take his advice!
  9. Karl_S's Avatar
    Swimming puts on weight and gives you huge shoulders. The only downside.
    The "fairer gender" looks better with broad shoulders than its members appear to believe.
  10. ekw's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S
    The "fairer gender" looks better with broad shoulders than its members appear to believe.
    I don't mind how my shoulders look, but trying to fit them into into a bridesmaids dress without having to spend a fortune on alterations?
  11. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ekw
    I don't mind how my shoulders look, but trying to fit them into into a bridesmaids dress without having to spend a fortune on alterations?
    Everything else gets bigger with swimming too. I resented having to buy an entire new wardrobe!

    Thanks Karl!
  12. Colleen Marais's Avatar
    Hahaha ekw and Fortress, I totally have to agree with you.